After three years of living independently in our flat, my boyfriend and I have made the hard decision to move in with his (very generous) parents.
I first moved into our current flat in 2014, after graduating from University and suddenly finding myself back in my childhood home, squeezed into a box-shaped room sharing a bunk bed with my 16-year-old sister.
After three years of independent living at University, you can imagine how frustrated I felt to be in that situation. I vowed to move out as soon as I could, and after securing a job I moved into a 2 bedroom flat with one of my best friends, Lisa, who had also recently graduated and had found herself in a similar position to myself (minus the bunk beds!).
We lived together for a year before Lisa decided to go travelling. She made the decision to go back to her parents in order to save much-needed travel funds, and my boyfriend, and our mutual friend, Tom, moved in.
Two years later, my boyfriend and I have now decided that we want to live on our own. What’s more, we want to buy our own home (exciting!).
I’m 25, and my boyfriend is just about to turn 26. We’re both on a similar wage, which means we are able to save the same amount each month.
However, we’ve spent the last few years going on holiday and travelling with friends (We’ve gone to America, Tokyo and Reykjavik!) and have zero savings. So we’re starting from scratch.
The average 1-2 bedroom flat to rent in our area is £600-700pcm. That’s not including bills. On top of that, we are both paying off cars and (in my case) a couple of credit cards.
The average 2 bedroom house to buy in our area is £180,000-£200,000. Doing the maths, we calculated that is would take AT LEAST 4 years to save a 10% deposit whilst renting.
And that would be 4 years of uncomfortable saving. Having to live on a shoestring budget and missing out on holidays and socialising.
But, by moving in with my boyfriend’s parents, we think we can save the same amount in just under 18 months. We won’t be living completely rent-free, but my boyfriend’s parents are asking for a fair amount that is considerably cheaper than the alternative.
Packing Up & Preparing for Change
I don’t know anyone who enjoys packing. Especially when you have to pack an entire flat’s worth of belongings to fit into one room.
We’ve decided to sell/donate the majority of our furniture. Most of it was second-hand to begin with, and not expensive/valuable enough to warrant putting into storage. That includes the dining room table and chairs, coffee table, desk, bookcases, side tables, a sofa etc. When it comes to it, we can buy these things again.
We’re keeping the bed, wardrobe, drawers, the other (new) sofa and my vintage Singer sewing machine.
A lot of our stuff is going into boxes in the attic, which includes 4 large boxes of books. My boyfriend said I could save so much space by replacing them with a kindle, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I’ve kept out the books I haven’t read yet (which is still a lot!) and have told myself I’m not allowed to buy any more. Instead, I will utilise the local library if I want to read a particular new book (obviously any proofs that are sent my way I will still gladly accept!).
As much as I can organise my belongings, I can’t do much in the way to prepare myself emotionally for the changes that I know will occur.
I have been used to doing what I want. If I don’t feel like washing the dishes I can leave them and no one will nag me. If I want to re-arrange the furniture or hang up some art I can do so without having to ask anyone’s permission.
Now, I will have to be respectful of my boyfriend’s parents; it’s their home, their belongings (and their rules!). I will no longer have the luxury of being able to leave the dishes unwashed, or the clothes on the washing line – any longer than necessary.
I will not be able to invite my friends to stay over on a whim and will need to make sure I tiptoe around the house in silence once my boyfriend’s parents have gone to bed.
There’s definitely going to be an adjustment period – and I’m just going to have to put up with it!
But The Future Looks Bright 🙂
It’s easy to look at the negatives, but I am in a fortunate situation that is not always available to others – and I must grab this chance with both hands and make sure that I make the most of this opportunity.
It may be a bit suck-y for 18 months or so, but my boyfriend and I will be able to clear some of our debts and save enough money to buy our first home. So it’s totally worth it!
Wish us luck (and share some our your tips/advice with us in the comments)!